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Harris meets with Congressional Hispanic Caucus to again discuss the ‘root causes’ of migration

Vice President Kamala Harris is meeting with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Monday afternoon to again discuss the root causes of migration. 

The vice president addressed eight lawmakers – some in person and some via video call – including Rep. Raul Ruiz, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ chair. 

In late March President Joe Biden made Harris the point person on dealings with the so-called Northern Triangle countries –  Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – where the majority of new migrants are coming from.      

At Monday’s meeting, Harris told the group of lawmakers that the Biden administration was trying to bring together CEOs and private corporations to help the region recover from ‘extreme climate incidents’ including two hurricanes and a drought in Guatemale that have impacted the countries’ agriculture sector. 

‘So this is some of the work that we can do together, and, and to address what I call, not only the root causes of the root causes of the migration,’ Harris said. ‘The impact of all these issues … the poverty, extreme food insecurity, violence, domestic violence in the treatment of women and girls, so many of these issues are long standing.’  

Vice President Kamala Harris is meeting with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Monday afternoon to again discuss the root causes of migration

The vice president addressed eight lawmakers - some in person and some via video call - including Rep. Raul Ruiz, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' chair

The vice president addressed eight lawmakers – some in person and some via video call – including Rep. Raul Ruiz, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ chair

Vice President Kamala Harris had made a number of domestic trip since late March, but hasn't traveled to the border. She'll visit Mexico and Guatamale in June

Vice President Kamala Harris had made a number of domestic trip since late March, but hasn’t traveled to the border. She’ll visit Mexico and Guatamale in June 

In brief remarks at the top of her meeting with Congressional Hispanic Caucus members, Vice President Kamala Harris talked about the 'extreme climate incidents' that have damaged the Northern Triangle countries, inspiring citizens to head north to the U.S.-Mexico border

In brief remarks at the top of her meeting with Congressional Hispanic Caucus members, Vice President Kamala Harris talked about the ‘extreme climate incidents’ that have damaged the Northern Triangle countries, inspiring citizens to head north to the U.S.-Mexico border 

A group of migrants mainly from Honduras and Nicaragua wait along a road after turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border

A group of migrants mainly from Honduras and Nicaragua wait along a road after turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border

Migrants make their onto a bus after being apprehended near the border between Mexico and the United States in Del Rio, Texas

Migrants make their onto a bus after being apprehended near the border between Mexico and the United States in Del Rio, Texas

New reporting from The New York Times revealed that the stream of migrants traveling over the U.S. southern border included many pandemic refugees as well, coming from as far away as India.  

In April, 30 per cent of all families encountered along the border hailed from countries other than Mexico and the Northern Triangle. 

In April 2019, during the last border surge, that number was just 7.5 per cent. 

In recent months, U.S. border agents have stopped people from more than 160 countries, the Times report said, many coming from areas hardest hit by the coronavirus. 

For example, nearly 4,000 Brazilians were stopped in March, compared to just 300 in January. 

Those coming from India – being decimated by COVID-19 currently – and other parts of Asia told the Times they took buses to large cities like Mumbai and then flew through Dubai and then onto Moscow, Paris or Madrid to Mexico City to then make the hike north toward the border.  

Migrants have been coming through at Yuma, Arizona, where there’s a break in the border wall. 

When Biden first made his announcement about Harris, he said she would be dealing with the root causes of migration, with the White House later clarifying that the vice president was not running point on what the administration didn’t want to call a ‘crisis.’ 

Her first foreign trip will be on June 7 and 8 to Mexico and Guatemala. 

The vice president, who was formerly a U.S. senator from California, has made a number of domestic trips to sell the president’s plans before Congress, but hasn’t visited the border.   

Harris joined the president in his meeting with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last month. 

A readout from that meeting noted that the group discussed ‘immigration reform and a humanitarian response at the border.’ 

That meeting was overshadowed by comments Biden made to reporters in the Oval Office about police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty later that day on three counts for the death of Minneapolis black man George Floyd.    


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